My teaching and research deal with American film history from the beginnings to the present, and with the global dimensions of Hollywood cinema, especially its relationship with Germany. My work concentrates on thematic currents and formal developments in mainstream American cinema and on the changing social, political, cultural and industrial contexts in which films are made and seen.
I have written extensively on silent cinema, stars and acting, Buster Keaton, the relationship between film and other media, Hollywood and the Germans, Audrey Hepburn, Disney and contemporary American cinema. I teach courses on film history, Stanley Kubrick and contemporary Hollywood.
Born in Germany in 1961, I studied at Cologne University in Germany and at the University of East Anglia. Before I returned to UEA as a lecturer in Film Studies in 1998, I taught American Studies at Keele University and Media Studies at Staffordshire University. I am a regular guest lecturer in the Film Studies department at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic) and at the University of Television and Film Munich (Germany).
During the last ten years, I have been supervising PhD students from the UK, the Czech Republic and China. Their topics have ranged from contemporary Hollywood epics, recent American movies about the 60s, slasher films, the film careers of Saturday Night Live comedians and the films of Michael Mann to the circulation of Chaplin’s early comedies in movie theatres and on small gauge formats in the UK, the relationship between Hollywood and Czechoslovakia after World War II and the distribution and reception of Hollywood family films in contemporary China. I have also worked with visiting PhD students from the Czech Republic, Spain, China and Turkey.
Across the last twenty years, I have presented more than eighty conference papers in the UK, continental Europe, North America and Australia and published over sixty journal essays and book chapters in the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Germany.
Together with Alan Lovell, I co-edited a collection of essays on film acting in the United States and Britain across the 20th century. It is entitled Screen Acting (Routledge, 1999). I have also co-edited, with Lee Grieveson, The Silent Cinema Reader (Routledge, 2004). Furthermore, jointly with Paul Willetts I co-authored a children’s book entitled American Film: An A-Z Guide (Franklin Watts, 2003). My most recent books are The New Hollywood: From Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars (Wallflower, 2005), a volume on 2001: A Space Odyssey in the BFI Film Classics series (2010) and A Clockwork Orange (Palgrave, 2011).
Together with Richard Daniels and Tatjana Ljujic, I am about to complete the edited collection Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives (to be published by Black Dog in 2014). I am also currently working on a volume on Dr. Strangelove. My research projects for the next few years include work on American Graffiti and on The Day After Tomorrow, also a volume tentatively entitled “The Good German? Oskar Schindler and the Movies, 1951-1993”.
I am regular contributor to the ThinkingFilmCollective blogspot and the on-line film magazine Pure Movies.